After a disappointing weekend, Barcelona will be looking to get back to the winning ways when they host Villarreal in La Liga at Camp Nou on Tuesday night (IST).
It’s a common perception now that Ernesto Valverde’s situation is dicey following a less than convincing start to the season, with another defeat could possibly be the end of his managerial career in Catalonia.
However, we don’t expect the situation to worsen here as Barcelona should come away with all three points against Villarreal.
Having said that, Villarreal have made a good start to the season and come into this game on the back of a two-game winning run. So the visitors have the momentum to create a problem or two for the hosts.
The La Liga match will be played between Barcelona and Villarreal at Camp Nou, in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, China. The ground has a capacity of 99,354.
The game will start at 12:30 AM (IST), on Wednesday, September 25.
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Recent form (Last six matches)
Barcelona – L W D W D L
Villarreal – W D L D W W
Barcelona Team News:
Jordi Alba remains out for Barcelona due to an injury he suffered during the Champions League clash against Borussia Dortmund.
Centre-back Samuel Umtiti remains on the sidelines and is not available for selection.
Dembele boost, while there is no place for Ivan Rakitic!
Ousmane Dembele is back to full fitness and has been included in Barcelona’s squad to face Villarreal. The former Borussia Dortmund star has played just one game for Ernesto Valverde’s team this season, in the 1-0 defeat against Athletic Bilbao.
Valverde, meanwhile, dropped Ivan Rakitic from his final 18-man squad to face Villarreal. The Croatia international was expected to leave the club in the summer but stayed put. Looks like, he has to seek a move away from the club in the January transfer window.
There’s no place for Moussa Wagué in the squad as well.
Expect changes as this is Barcelona’s fourth game in just 11 days.
Barcelona squad for Villarreal clash:
Ter Stegen, N. Semedo, Piqué, Sergio, Todibo, Griezmann, Aleñá, S. Roberto, Arthur, Suárez, Messi, O. Dembélé, Neto, Lenglet, F. De Jong, Vidal, Junior, Ansu Fati
Barcelona Probable XI:
Stegen (GK), Junior Firpo, Clemen Lenglet, Gerard Pique, Nelson Semedo, Arthur, Sergio Busquets, Arturo Vidal, Lionel Messi, Ansu Fati/Antoine Griezmann, Luis Suarez
Villarreal FC Team News:
The Yellow Submarine will be without four key players for the trip to Camp Nou. Bruno Soriano, Alberto Moreno, Mario Gaspar, and Ramiro Guerra all remain out injured and won’t be featuring here.
Andrei Ratiu, who plays for Villarreal B, has been named in the squad. The 21-year-old plays as a right-back. Though, Ruben Pena is the first choice in that position.
Villarreal squad for this game:
S. Asenjo, R. Albiol, Pau, Funes Mori, Gerard, S. Cazorla, Bacca, Iborra, Chukwueze, Andrés Fdez, Morlanes, Quintillà, Toko Ekambi, Anguissa, R. Peña, Moi Gómez, J. Ontiveros, Andrei
Villarreal Probable XI:
Sergio Asenjo (GK), Ruben Pena, Raul Albiol, Pau Torres, Xavi Quintilla, Santo Cazorla, Vicente Iborra, Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa, Samuel Chukwueze, Javier Ontiveros, Gerard Moreno
Likely to score:
Captain and Vice-Captain Selection:
Lionel Messi: This should be his first start of the season. Without him, Barcelona looks lost and out of ideas in the final third. So in a sense, Messi starts his regular season from this match.
Last season in the league:
Ansu Fati: The 3rd youngest player in the La Liga history to score a goal. This is just the start, and if the early signs are anything to go by, then the 16-year-old is another gem of a player to emerge from Barcelona’s famous Youth Academy.
Gerard Moreno: The most in-form player in La Liga at the moment. The 27-year-old has racked up a league-high 5 goals and has delivered two man-of-the-match performances.
Santo Cazorla: This age-less phenomenon marked his international return with a series of fabulous performances last season. He has been equally impressive this season as well, scoring and recording assists so far in the season.
BAR vs VIL Dream11 potential winner:
Despite Barcelona suffering two defeats in the first five games, the reigning champions boast a 100% record at Camp Nou. We expect them to win the game.